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The Roman Army: The Greatest War Machine of the Ancient World (General Military) Paperback – May 22, 2012


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The Roman Army: The Greatest War Machine of the Ancient World (General Military) + The Complete Roman Army (The Complete Series) + Roman Warfare (Smithsonian History of Warfare)
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Product Details

  • Series: General Military
  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; Reprint edition (May 22, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849088136
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849088138
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #162,857 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"As with all of Osprey's books, this one is full of detailed drawing and maps to enable the reader to easily follow the army's progress from its humble birth to its transformation into the stuff of legend." - Military Heritage, December 2010

"This book is a must for anyone interested in ancient history. And, best of all, while the original hardcover copy was reviewed here, an even cheaper paperback edition was released in 2012!"
- Toy Soldier & Model Figure (May 2013)


From the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Chris McNab is an author and editor. To date he has published over 25 books, including Twentieth Century Small Arms (2001), Gunfighters -The Outlaws and their weapons (2005, contributing editor), The Personal Security Handbook (2003), The Encyclopedia of Combat Techniques (2002) and The Illustrated History of the Vietnam War (2000). He is the co-author of Tools of Violence (2008) and has recently completed Deadly Force (2009) and A History of the World in 100 Weapons (2011), all for Osprey. Chris has also written extensively for major encyclopedia series, including African-American Biographies (2006), USA 1950s (2006) and Reformation, Exploration and Empire (2005), and has contributed to The Times on the war in Iraq.

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

61 of 61 people found the following review helpful By 10th Legion on June 27, 2010
Format: Hardcover
"The Roman Army", edited by Chris McNab, combines portions of 25 previously published Osprey booklet titles into one well produced hard back book. For those readers familiar with the Osprey booklet format, this book will be very familiar ground. If you already have many of the Osprey titles relating to the Roman Army, you can safely consider this book an optional purchase. I bought because it is handy, I did not already have all the Osprey titles contained in the volume, and the production quality is excellent. The book is organized into four historical periods, the Early Republican Army 753-146 BC, the Army of the Late Republic 146-27 BC, the Earlier Roman Empire, 27 BC - AD 200 and finally the Later Roman Empire, AD 200 - 6th Century. There are numerous pictures, maps, diagrams, and excellent illustrations which all contribute to making the material easy to follow. Comparing it to the Adrian Goldsworthy book, "The Complete Roman Army," I have to give the nod to Goldsworthy's book if you can only own one. Goldsworthy has more detailed commentary and covers a wider range of topics in his work. Recognizing that the Osprey booklet format is constrained by design, this is a factor that limits topic discussion. Actually "The Roman Army" makes a good companion work to "The Complete Roman Army", so own them both and enjoy.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Bruner on September 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found the book full of facts and well researched references. For a book that could be a little dry and boring, this historical record kept my interest from beginning to end. It helps you understand ancient Rome and the dynamics of it's armies.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Steven A. Peterson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 23, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am used to the brief Osprey volumes on military matters. This work, however, is much longer, featuring 265 pages of text. It covers the time when the first evidence for the nature of the Roman Army is available (the reign of Servius Tullus) to the end of the Western Empire centuries later. The purpose of the book is (Page 13): ". . .a study of how the Roman war machine evolved from the foundations of Rome in the 8th century BC to the fall of the Western Empire in the 5th century AD."

The book covers a variety of subjects. Each section looks at a particular period of time. The first, 753BC to 146 BC examines the army's origins as something like a Greek hoplite organization to the more familiar legion structure later on. The book goes on to consider military organization, weapons, and the nature of the troops themselves. Next, the army of the late republic is considered (146 BC to 27 BC). The chapter/section begins with the model of the military developed by Marius and the evolution of formations and weapons. The critical issue of command and control is discussed. Then, the campaign in Gaul and Caesar's leadership there. And so on.

Other periods considered: The early Empire (27 BC-AD 200); AD 200-6th century. The last part of the book explores the division of the Empire into Eastern and Western segments. The book concludes with a bibliography of sources.

Even with 265 pages, that leaves rather little time for great detail on any stage in the evolution of the Roman military. Nonetheless, a nicely written volume that provides a sense of the Roman Army as it evolved and came to its end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ellen C. Maze Sallas VINE VOICE on February 18, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I purchased this as a gift for my husband, a Roman History buff. I think the photos are fantastic and plentiful, and he appreciated the research and information contained within. This book suited our purposes well, and looks nice sitting on the table.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Will on August 6, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is a mix of various Roman army related Osprey titles and is a very good book providing most of the information in those books at less price than buying each individual Osprey book.
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